Hurricane Irma moving away from Antigua & Barbuda
(Source: US National Hurricane Center)
The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said at 5 a.m. that the eye of Hurricane Irma is moving away from Antigua and Barbuda and heading toward St Martin.
Posted by THG Network on Wednesday, 6 September 2017 at 5:30 a.m. - 'Current situation at Simpson Bay, St Maarten'
Reports out of Antigua indicated that the eye of the hurricane passed over Barbuda around 2 a.m. this morning. The state-owned ABS TV/Radio reported losing contact with key posts in Barbuda.
Some structural damage was reported in Barbuda, which experienced sustained winds of 120 mph with gusts of over to 150 mph. The roof of the police station came off and policemen relocated to a shelter.
According to the Antigua Meteorological Service, St Kitts and Nevis and Montserrat are expected to see winds taper off as the morning continues. However, Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands remain within Irma's strike zone.
In its 5 a.m. bulletin, the NHC said the centre of Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 17.9 North, longitude 62.6 West - about 35 miles (55 km) east south east of St Martin and about 145 miles (235 km) east of St Croix.
Irma is moving toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h), and this general motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. On the forecast track, the extremely dangerous core of Irma will move over portions of the northern Leeward Islands this morning, move near or over portions of the northern Virgin Islands later today, and pass near or just north of Puerto Rico this afternoon or tonight.
Maximum sustained winds remain near 185 mph (295 km/h) with higher gusts.
Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple of days.
Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 50 miles (85 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 175 miles (280 km). St. Martin recently reported a wind gust of 61 mph (98 km/h).
The Government of the Bahamas has issued a Hurricane Warning for the Southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, and a Hurricane Watch for the Central Bahamas. The Meteorological Service of Barbados has discontinued the Tropical Storm Warning for Dominica.